Does "crucible" here mean "a place or situation in which people or ideas are tested severely, often creating something new or exciting in the process" (Oxford Dicts)?

The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood… Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say in contemporary America… This is an important book, on a topic that, for all its inherent difficulty and divisiveness, should not be shielded from the crucible of human reason.

Source: The New York Times Book Review

1 Answer 1


crucible (noun) from Merriam-Webster

  • a severe test
  • a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development

The "crucible of human reason" is referring to people critically thinking about and judging the topic discussed in the book, basically a "a place or situation in which people or ideas are tested severely" as you already assumed.

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